Matildas name 18-strong Paris Olympics squad without injured captain Sam Kerr

The Nightly
Steph Catley has been named captain of the Matildas for the Paris Olympics.
Steph Catley has been named captain of the Matildas for the Paris Olympics. Credit: James Worsfold/Getty Images

Australia has named a team with loads of experience plus some up-and-coming stars as the Matildas begin preparations for their Paris Olympics Games tilt.

Although star forward Sam Kerr was omitted from the list due to her ACL injury, coach Tony Gustavsson has gambled on the fitness of his other attacking options Caitlin Foord (hamstring) and midfielder Katrina Gorry (ankle), naming them in the squad.

Gorry and striker Foord both missed Australia’s final pre-Paris hit-out, a win, against China in Sydney on Monday night with ankle and hamstring injuries respectively.

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Foord’s hamstring injury is of less concern to selectors but comes with the Matildas already missing captain and chief goalscorer Sam Kerr.

Steph Catley was named captain of the squad, joined by vice-captains Emily van Egmond and Ellie Carpenter, as well as Mackenzie Arnold, Alanna Kennedy, Clare Polkinghorne and Tameka Yallop will all take part in their third Olympic campaign, starting next month.

The Matildas will be hoping to end their heartbreaking Olympic history when the Games kick off in July and August — including, most recently, a 4-3 loss in the bronze-medal match against the United States in Tokyo.

“I know that this team will give everything for the coat of arms and will represent Australia to the best of their ability in the true Aussie way,” Gustavsson said.

The coach named his 18-strong squad in Sydney on Tuesday, with four players selected on an ‘alternate’ list.

Courtney Nevin, retiring goalkeeper Lydia Williams, Sharn Freier and fullback Charlotte Grant are the quartet on standby.

Grant is the most unfortunate casualty having done a solid job standing in for first-choice right-back Ellie Carpenter, who missed 12 months of action in the build-up to last year’s World Cup with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Australia kick off their group stage fixtures against Germany in Marseille on July 25 before facing Zambia and the USA.

Matildas Squad

Goalkeepers: Mackenzie Arnold, Teagan Micah

Defenders: Ellie Carpenter, Steph Catley (C), Clare Hunt, Alanna Kennedy, Clare Polkinghorne, Kaitlyn Torpey

Midfielders: Kyra Cooney-Cross, Katrina Gorry, Emily van Egmond, Clare Wheeler, Tameka Yallop

Forwards: Caitlin Foord, Mary Fowler, Michelle Heyman, Hayley Raso, Cortnee Vine

Alternates: Lydia Williams, Sharn Freier, Charlotte Grant, Courtney Nevin.

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